Photo: Bettina Stöß


Composition Commisson issued to Iris ter Schiphorst

Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Berliner Mädchenchores, Germany

Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood) is a work of musical theater highlighting the immediate reality of children’s lives as its subject matter. The central idea of presenting childhood as a pivotal stage in life is formulated in a piece of music theater aimed at an adult audience: The young singers and performers present an artistic work that is tailored to their vocal and physical quintessence understanding this as fully valid. The composition by Iris ter Schiphorst, made possible by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, captures the children’s vivacity in musical form. By dovetailing a cappella, electronic feed, pure speech, as well as speech and noise compositions, a multifaceted spectrum is formed around the child’s voice. Sometimes it fulfills a cliché, then it is amplified and distorted, carried by electronic sounds or drowned out by them. The musical use of the choir ranges from the classical sung repertoire to variations thereof, speech and noise compositions in tutti, small solo groups to solo singing by individuals. Choral speaking, moaning, whispering, shouting are also important components of the composition. The musical approach thus considers children’s voices in their entire spectrum: from the clichéd bell-clear children’s choir sound, to authentic children’s screams or very delicate noisy vocal utterances.

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